Mentoring program for new veteran students at Ohio State funded through 2022
For military veterans, the challenges they faced when they joined are completely different than those they face when they step onto The Ohio State University campus. Unlike traditional freshmen, veteran students are older, half have families and many are first-generation students.
The Peer 2 Peer Sponsor program, in the university’s Office of Military and Veteran Services, helps incoming student veterans and service members make a smooth transition from military service to the college environment by pairing them with peer sponsors who can help with paperwork, finding a place to live, navigating campus and anything else the new student might need.
A $69,000 gift from the 3rd & Goal Foundation will provide funding to expand and extend Ohio State’s peer sponsor program for three years. 3rd & Goal Foundation is a Columbus based non-profit, founded by former NFL quarterback and Dublin native Brady Quinn that is committed to making a difference in the lives of veterans in need.
“This helps us achieve our goals of retaining and helping students to graduate and helps us earn their trust along the way, said Mike Carrell, assistant vice provost and director of the Office of Military and Veterans Services. “We know that first year can be especially challenging for veterans.”
When military members move from base to base, they’re assigned a sponsor at the new base to help ease the transition to their new home. Ohio State’s program is purposely named so that veterans would be familiar with the concept.
“Having a program that’s put in terms they understand and that’s as flexible as they need will help point students in the right direction,” said Carrell. “It will make campus smaller and easier to navigate and put military and veteran students on the path toward academic success.”
In addition to providing direction, the peer sponsors host social, development, and networking events throughout the school year for all military and veteran students.
The Peer 2 Peer Sponsor program is just one of many academic and social support services offered by the Office of Military and Veteran Services. Others include a Veterans House (a housing option for students who are veterans, active-duty, reserves and National Guard), a student veterans lounge on campus, the Veteran Community Advocate Program, a fulltime VA liaison through the VetSuccess on Campus program, and student organizations including a local chapter of the National Student Veterans of America called Vets 4 Vets.